Oct 03 2006

Army Depot Senate solidifies funding for tanks, Stryker vehicles

The Anniston Star

By Dan Whisenhunt

Anniston Army Depot is a pen stroke away from the money it needs to work on Abrams tanks and Stryker combat vehicles in 2007.

On Sept. 26, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, announced the Senate had passed the Department of Defense Appropriations bill. The bill provides $188.4 million in funding for work on the M1 Abrams tank and $798.5 million for the Stryker, an eight-wheeled armored vehicle assembled at the depot by General Dynamics Land Systems.

The bill also would provide $22.9 million for work to modify personnel carriers.

The bill now needs the president’s signature, Shelby said.

“The Abrams tank is the backbone of our heavy forces and has been at the core of the work done at the Anniston Army Depot for many years,” Shelby said in a press release.

Peter Keating, vice president of communications for General Dynamics, said tank production is now on par with levels seen during the cold war.

“We’re going to handle or touch about 800 tanks” this year, Keating said.

Jack Cline, assistant deputy commander of Anniston Army Depot, said he expects record production levels of Abrams tanks this year.

We’ve actually increased our output by 96 percent since 2003,” Cline said.